Caucasus Adventures Redux

I’ve recently posted the last installment of my Azerbaijan Adventures, so it’s time to say farewell to the Caucasus (for the time being, at least), and look back at all I have distilled over the past three years.

Like a goat jumping over the snowy peaks of the Caucasus, I have traveled through Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and their respective renegade regions. In writing about my journeys, I intentionally left aside the most-traveled routes to focus on more extreme tourism, food, and cooking. I called them Adventures, although your humble main protagonists spent more time changing flat tires, dealing with hard-looking and/or corrupt customs officers, asking their way around in the middle of nowhere, and drinking local moonshine, than accomplishing any kind of crazy exploits.

Soviet Stamp - Caucasian Goat

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Latvian Hare Trio

At long last, my Latvian hare trio is complete! I started this project when I discovered those mysterious recipes for hare cheese. If you run an internet search for hare cheese in English, Russian, or Latvian, you probably won’t find much; for one thing, you won’t see a single picture. This in itself required further investigation.

Because I don’t spend my time dining on wild Scottish hare from D’artagnan, and because my own attempt at hare hunting could easily replace “wild goose chase” in proverbial parlance, it took me a couple of years to reach a point where I was satisfied with my result. Early on, it became clear to me that a whole hare yielded way too much hare cheese, and so I looked for other dishes of Latvian inspiration that could use hare. In particular, I determined that cooking the leg meat in fat ensures that it doesn’t get dry, and hare loin really shouldn’t be cooked more than medium-rare.

Latvian Hare Trio

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This is a Georgian Food Blog

A few month ago, I was announcing that this is a Russian food blog — and it worked. But, as you’ve certainly noticed by now, this is more than that. For example, this is also a Georgian food blog. The Georgia we’re talking about here is the Republic of Georgia of course, in the Caucasus; and I dedicated many posts to its food, its dishes, its cooking and its cuisine.

Seriously, Google, look at the top results when one queries “Georgian food blog”! The first one is an excellent blog that I encourage everyone to read (it’s in my blogroll), but it’s essentially about Estonian cuisine. The third one consists of 50 or so Georgian recipes, all posted in December 2007 (five years ago); it’s interesting, but it’s not exactly a blog. Which brings us to the second one, a single picture from the aforementioned recipes, re-posted on some other site; this certainly wins the Palme d’Or for lamest search result.  And so on…

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This Is A Russian Food Blog

Only today did I realize that if you google “russian food blog”, Food Perestroika doesn’t appear in the first 10 pages (I didn’t look beyond that). Moreover, all of the blogs on the first result page, though sometimes quite interesting, only post a handful of articles a year, when they haven’t stopped all together. Don’t I deserve my 15 minutes of fame, too?

Sure, neither my blog title nor my tagline explicitly use the words “Russian”, “food” or “blog”. It’s also true that this is not only a Russian food blog, in that I write many posts that talk about other topics (such as food-serving establishments and travel) and other countries (such as Hungary, Ukraine, Georgia, and Azerbaijan, all of which are only so far from Russia). I guess I’m being too subtle for the world’s foremost search engine, and I apologize.

So Mr Google, please take note. I’m going to spell it out for you: this is a Russian food blog.

It is a blog that talks about Russian food. A food blog, with an emphasis on Russia. A blog with posts on Russia and food, or if you prefer, on food and Russia. A blog that looks at Russia through the prism of food. Russian food, aka the food of the Russia, is discussed here, using blogging as a medium. Russian. Food. Blog.

And if this is not enough, here are some posts to convince you: